Formerly General Educational Development (GED®)

The High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) program provides adults who did not complete a formal high school program the opportunity to certify their attainment of high school-level academic knowledge and skills. This program is directed towards adult who are 17 years of age and older who have not graduated from an accredited high school or who have not received a high school equivalency diploma, and are not currently in a regular high school.

SWCC wants adults who are seeking a high school education to realize that graduation is not an impossible dream, but a realistic goal. Transition to postsecondary and/or employment is emphasized and can be achieved by attending classes at a local HSED site or taking HSED classes on-line through i-Pathways. A HSED certificate of completion is the first step to a better paying job, higher education, and more opportunities!

HiSET® (High School Equivalency Test), has replaced GED in the state of Iowa as the assessment tool used to award the High School Equivalency Diploma.  HiSET® is a series of five tests: reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. The test is computer-based and must be taken at one of the three SWCC testing locations. To learn more about HiSET, go to the HiSET fact sheet link.

Note: "Persons seeking to meet the Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma requirements should be aware of companies that claim to offer the Test of High School Equivalency Exam (HSE) over the Internet or through correspondence courses. There are no on-line correspondence testing programs recognized American Council on Education (ACE). The only way to receive an Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma is to successfully pass the Official Test Battery by Iowa state standards, which is called HiSET.

HSED Students
• Work at their own pace
• Must be motivated to succeed
• Come from a variety of educational backgrounds
• Are encouraged to attend SWCC HSED graduation ceremony

HSED Instructors
• Work hard to assist students with their individual needs
• Provide orientation which includes contact information
• Provide opportunities for personal goal setting
• Align classes and materials with HSED testing

HSED Curriculum
• The HSED contains a series of 5 subject area tests
• Students are required to pass all five tests in order to receive their HSED certificate
• Before taking the HSED tests students must first take and pass official practice tests in each subject area
• Practice tests are given in the classroom and the HSED tests are taken at one of the SWCC testing locations.

The subject areas and tests times are:
Language Arts, Writing 120 minutes allowed on test
Language Arts, Reading 65 minutes allowed on test
Social Studies 70 minutes allowed on test
Science 80 minutes allowed on test
Mathematics 90 minutes allowed on test

To successfully pass the Official HSED Test Battery by Iowa state standards, a student must achieve a minimum standard score of 8 on each of the five official HiSET® test battery subtests and a cumulative score of 45.

• There are no class fees.
• Students pay for the entire HiSET® battery, which is $50 for all 5 tests.
• Students must register with HiSET® online to schedule a testing appointment and pay for tests.
• There is a one-time payable $10.00 diploma fee.

HSED Testing
• Students may only take final HSED tests after they have attended a class and successfully completed official practice tests.
• HSED tests are administered at one of the three SWCC campus sites-Adult and Continuing Education in Creston, Red Oak and Osceola SWCC Centers.
• HSED tests can only be taken on dates listed on the HSED testing schedules.
• Students must schedule an appointment online at least 24 hours in advance.

HSED Testers

• Register, pay, and schedule a HSED test at least 24 hours prior to test date by calling HiSET customer Service at 1-855-694-4738.
• Bring completed and signed verification form to testing.
• Bring photo ID and social security card
• Present items from pockets, including cell phones and purses, to be stored during testing
• Use only pencils, calculators, and pens provided by SWCC
• Dispose of all drinks and food items before entering test site

HSED Accommodations
Accommodations are provided for students with disabilities. For more information regarding accommodations call SWCC HSED Chief Examiner at 641.782.1497.

HSED Graduation Ceremony

Each year a Graduation Ceremony is held for students who obtain their HSED during the year. Students and their family and friends are invited to attend the cap and gown ceremony held in the SWCC Area Arts and Wellness Theater. SWCC has helped over 3500 individuals obtain the Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma.
New graduates are encouraged to attend our graduation ceremony. Refreshments will be served in the SWCC Multipurpose Room following the ceremony. For more information or to attend, contact Darla Helm at 641-782-1497 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..